Posted In: Deck Plans
This past Tuesday at Germany’s MV Werften Shipyard in Stralsund, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she would like to sail on Crystal’s new expedition ship, Crystal Endeavor. Wouldn’t we all? Not only is the lineup of itineraries enough to make any wanderer salivate – see Crystal Endeavor Now Open For Booking – but Endeavor itself is nothing short of gorgeous – see Crystal Endeavor To Boast Expedition’s Highest Space Ratio.
Merkel was among the VIPs who placed coins in Endeavor’s keel, a time-honored tradition meant to bring the vessel good fortune. Below, I’ve posted a photos and short video from last Tuesday’s keel-laying festivities. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Agent Perspectives
With garden clubs returning to their normal schedule of monthly meetings in September, make an appointment to present them with some eye-catching new itineraries that they have not seen before?
Orchid Societies will relish Kew’s annual Orchid extravaganza in February. While other gardeners, too busy to travel in the spring, might say ‘yes’ to a Poldark/Doc Martin infused Cornwall garden tour in March. Scotland’s Rhododendron Festival blended with a few castles and distilleries may draw the attention north of the border, with others liking my suggestions for the Keukenhof in Holland, Floralia in Belgium and some of our English tulip festivals. The mid-May RHS Malvern Flower Show is also a very good reason for a “travel less, see more” visit to the Cotswolds. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Soundings
A recent Royal Caribbean webcast reminded me of the continual struggle that travel advisors have with suppliers contacting clients directly. Many travel advisors believe that they “own” the client and that suppliers should refrain from marketing to or contacting advisors’ clients, ever. In reality, the clients belong to no one, and suppliers have just as much of a right to contact our shared clients. Let’s face a harsh reality here, suppliers have a vested interest in getting as much repeat business as possible. With the data showing that clients don’t always return to the same travel advisors for future vacations, our suppliers can’t take the chance we’re going to drive the repeat business to them. Read the rest of this entry »
The combination of age and information overload is a recipe for pending disaster. Relying on memory is a mistake of huge proportion. Here is the long and short of it: Write everything down. Take notes. Do not depend on your memory.
Memories are becoming shorter as the list of concerns grows longer. Nights are for sleeping, not tossing and turning trying to remember if you have forgotten some important issue for tomorrow’s sales presentation, or your best client’s family vacation. Read the rest of this entry »
Have you ever heard of “The Shiny Bauble Syndrome?” That is when a short attention span plays havoc with us entrepreneurs and we bounce, bop, and weave from project to project. It is a more sophisticated term for a short attention span.
You can’t allow your focus to drift away from the task at hand. Becoming distracted is often considered normal. You simply can’t be considered normal in this regard. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Supplier Profile
Far below the equator, at the edge of southern South America, lies one of the purest landscapes on Earth: Patagonia. Australis has obliged the traveler with the knowledge and sights of this pristine area since 1990. They’ve navigated Patagonia with respect, minimizing the impact tourism has on the environment. This adheres to their high standards of operation, in taking care of the traveler and the environment. Read the rest of this entry »
Biting the hand that feeds you makes no sense; it never has and never will. Treating a customer as the enemy is…dumb. Don’t be dumb.
As ludicrous as this sounds, the “me against you” selling mentality is often the case. Sales shouldn’t and cannot happen this way. It does not have to result in a win-lose outcome. After all, it is not a game to see who can outsmart whom. It is supposed to be a game where everybody wins. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Point-to-Point
Emerging Destinations’ vision statement is “Saving Wild Places Through Travel.” In this month’s article, I thought it would be fun to highlight the non-profit organizations that Elewana works with in Kenya at the Loisaba Conservancy.
The San Diego Zoo’s Global Partnerships program connects animal care, conservation research and education experts with regional, national, and international agencies, zoos, benefactors, and conservation NGOs in collaborative efforts to end extinction. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Independent Consultant
I saw this on a bumper sticker this morning and it really made me laugh. Moments before I could feel my stress level rise as I was maneuvering through extremely heavy morning commute traffic to get to a supplier meeting. I spotted the slogan at the same moment I wondered, “How can people do this every day?!”
Working from home means “No More Rush-Hour.” Being my own boss means that in most cases I can control my appointments. I realized this morning it took me nearly an hour to go 20 miles. Do you realize how much time is wasted sitting in traffic? Not to mention the stress and anxiety you endure when traffic doesn’t move the way it should. Rush-hour is just bad, no matter how you look at it.
Posted In: 60-Second Geography
Barcelona is seaside city on the northeast coast of Spain. It is known for its unique culture and excellent cuisines. The city shows architectural designs from over 2,000 years. From ancient city walls to the Gothic quarter to the iconic cathedral that juts from the center of the city – Barcelona is a magnificent city to behold. Thanks to ShoreTrips, you’ll learn a little about why the traveler should take a holiday in beautiful Barcelona.
Regardless of what side of the political fence you are on, don’t you find it hard to believe that supposedly intelligent people can actually believe the things they do? Don’t you find yourself asking yourself, “How can people think like that? How can they behave like that?” In your eyes, the solution is so obvious. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to sort through the BS and interpret the situation intelligently. Why can’t others see the world as I do? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: 1:1
Stacey Ray is the CEO and founder of Groupit Travel and Groupit Travel Host Agency, the only host agency in the US to specialize in group travel. She is a veteran traveler having been to almost 70 countries and has sailed more than 50 times ranging from 5 days to 6 weeks onboard. She is a certified Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialist and also certified by the The Gay Wedding Institute for same-sex destination weddings. Stacey is proud to be a Certified Luxury Travel Specialist and to lead our Certified Accessible Travel Advocate agency. Stacey has been an invited as a fully-hosted buyer to the Global Travel Marketplace, ILTM (International Luxury Travel Marketplace), ITE (Incentive Travel Exchange), CruiseWorld and the Pacific Asia Travel Association Conference. Read the rest of this entry »
“What we have here is a failure to communicate.” This familiar quote was taken from the movie Cool Hand Luke starring Paul Newman (1967).
Communication, when properly executed requires a “sender” and a “receiver.” Most people are pretty good at “sending.” Where the ball is dropped is when it comes to “receiving,” or listening.
Starting today, you must give this element of the communication process (listening) more than just lip service. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Editorial Musings
For those that have read this column for years, this will come as no surprise. I am a huge fan of email marketing. I believe, that if done right, it can be the most effective weapon in your arsenal.
Email marketing is a great tool for customer acquisition and retention. However, many email newsletters get a bad rap because they’re often seen as spam, are sent too frequently or never reach the intended audience. All things that you need to think about. Consider this: Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Publishers Corner
The year is slipping by quickly. The holiday of the autumnal equinox, traditionally called Harvest Home, comes to us all in September. Long ago, humanity lived by such agricultural markers. But your clients, and all of the potential clients “out there,” have their own schedules. They travel when they are ready. Their travel plans have nothing to do with your preparations, business plans, or agendas. But someday, Ms. Client will look at Mr. Client and say something like, “Let’s go to Ireland off-season this year.” Before they next think of price or plans or preparations, will your clients’ thoughts turn to you? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Deck Plans
When Holland America Line’s O, The Oprah Magazine Adventure of Your Life Cruise sets sail for the Caribbean Oct. 28, 2018, aboard Nieuw Amsterdam, guests are in for an inspiring week with some of the magazine’s editors and world’s leading visionaries.
Senior Editor Molly Simms and Beauty Director Brian Underwood from O, The Oprah Magazine will be cruising along with “The First Lady of Nutrition” Ann Louise Gittleman, Unplug Meditation teacher Christina Huntington, best-selling author and transformational speaker Lori Harder and Functional Life Coach creator Mastin Kipp. Special programming during the roundtrip Fort Lauderdale cruise will allow guests to gain insight and knowledge from this team of thought leaders and learn from their expertise. Read the rest of this entry »
If you want to get to the top of this profession, you have to stop worrying about selling and start thinking about helping. Sounds absurdly simple. It isn’t.
Your primary goal is to stop selling and to start helping others. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted In: Luxury Travel Tips
Virtuoso was a leader long before it was cool. Formally known as API Travel Consultants, the organization was made up of agencies that specialized in luxury or “the carriage trade” as it was then commonly known. Even though there are many organizations that specialize in it, when you think “Luxury Travel”, you think Virtuoso right?
But specializing in luxury travel or cruises is not enough to set you apart from every Tom, Dick, and Costco out there. You need to find your niche by drilling down even deeper. From cruises, down to small ships, to expedition to polar adventures. There is a strong market for this and the customers will seek out a specialist or expert to assist them.
Here is the five-step process I share with my students to help them choose a specialty that works for them. Take your time and do your homework. Read the rest of this entry »
I just wrapped up 15 of marketing mistakes and this might be the perfect time to focus on the number of selling errors that come to mind. I will focus on one sales mistake each day for the next couple of weeks.
The notorious up-sale.
The gift-of-gab has no place in business today. There’s no need for memorizing and rehearsing verbal retorts and proactive sales pitches. Read the rest of this entry »